Emil Cioran Quotes

Who the Heck is Emil Cioran?

Emil Mihai Cioran was a Romanian pervasive pessimistic philosopher in the 20th century.

Born April 08, 1911
Died June 20, 1995

Books by Emil Cioran


Best 52 Quotes by Emil Cioran

“A book is a suicide postponed.”

Emil Cioran

“By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing.”

Emil Cioran

“Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.”

Emil Cioran

“Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.”

Emil Cioran

“I'm simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?”

Emil Cioran

“If we could truly see ourselves the way others see us we'd disappear on the spot.”

Emil Cioran

“In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.”

Emil Cioran

“Knowledge subverts love: in proportion as we penetrate our secrets, we come to loathe our kind, precisely because they resemble us.”

Emil Cioran

“Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.”

Emil Cioran

“Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.”

Emil Cioran

“One can experience loneliness in two ways: by feeling lonely in the world or by feeling the loneliness of the world.”

Emil Cioran

“One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other.”

Emil Cioran

“Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?”

Emil Cioran

“Revenge is not always sweet, once it is consummated we feel inferior to our victim.”

Emil Cioran

“Shame on the man who goes to his grave escorted by the miserable hopes that have kept him alive.”

Emil Cioran

“The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live –– moreover, the only one.”

Emil Cioran

“The multiplication of our kind borders on the obscene; the duty to love them, on the preposterous.”

Emil Cioran

“The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.”

Emil Cioran

“We have convictions only if we have studied nothing thoroughly.”

Emil Cioran

“Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.”

Emil Cioran

"A Short History of Decay" Quotes

“Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, Chaos is being yourself.”

Emil Cioran
A Short History of Decay

Products by Emil Cioran

“The true hero fights and dies in the name of his destiny, and not in the name of a belief.”

Emil Cioran
A Short History of Decay

"All Gall Is Divided" Quotes

“Melancholy: an appetite no misery satisfies.”

Emil Cioran
All Gall Is Divided

"On the Heights of Despair" Quotes

“As far as I am concerned, I resign from humanity. I no longer want to be, nor can still be, a man. What should I do? Work for a social and political system, make a girl miserable? Hunt for weaknesses in philosophical systems, fight for moral and esthetic ideals? It’s all too little. I renounce my humanity even though I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything?”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“How I wish I didn't know anything about myself and this world!”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“How important can it be that I suffer and think? My presence in this world will disturb a few tranquil lives and will unsettle the unconscious and pleasant naiveté of others. Although I feel that my tragedy is the greatest in history—greater than the fall of empires—I am nevertheless aware of my total insignificance. I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“I don’t understand why we must do things in this world, why we must have friends and aspirations, hopes and dreams. Wouldn’t it be better to retreat to a faraway corner of the world, where all its noise and complications would be heard no more? Then we could renounce culture and ambitions; we would lose everything and gain nothing; for what is there to be gained from this world?”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“I would like to be free, totaly free... free like an aborted child.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“If I were to be totally sincere, I would say that I do not know why I live and why I do not stop living. The answer probably lies in the irrational character of life which maintains itself without reason.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“Tears do not burn except in solitude.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“True confessions are written with tears only. But my tears would drown the world, as my inner fire would reduce it to ashes.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

“We are so lonely in life that we must ask ourselves if the loneliness of dying is not a symbol of our human existence.”

Emil Cioran
On the Heights of Despair

"Tears and Saints" Quotes

“Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home?”

Emil Cioran
Tears and Saints

“Life is too full of death for death to be able to add anything to it.”

Emil Cioran
Tears and Saints

“Tell me how you want to die, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Emil Cioran
Tears and Saints

“There are no solutions, only cowardice masquerading as such.”

Emil Cioran
Tears and Saints

“To fear is to die every minute.”

Emil Cioran
Tears and Saints

"The New Gods" Quotes

“Only those moments count, when the desire to remain by yourself is so powerful that you'd prefer to blow your brains out than exchange a word with someone.”

Emil Cioran
The New Gods

"The Trouble with Being Born" Quotes

“A zoologist who observed gorillas in their native habitat was amazed by the uniformity of their life and their vast idleness. Hours and hours without doing anything. Was boredom unknown to them? This is indeed a question raised by a human, a busy ape. Far from fleeing monotony, animals crave it, and what they most dread is to see it end. For it ends, only to be replaced by fear, the cause of all activity. Inaction is divine; yet it is against inaction that man has rebelled. Man alone, in nature, is incapable of enduring monotony, man alone wants something to happen at all costs — something, anything. Thereby he shows himself unworthy of his ancestor: the need for novelty is the characteristic of an alienated gorilla.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“Better to be an animal than a man, an insect than an animal, a plant than an insect, and so on.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“Do I look like someone who has something to do here on earth?

That's what I'd like to answer the busybodies who inquire into my activities.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

Products by Emil Cioran

“Each time I fail to think about death, I have the impression of cheating, of deceiving someone in me.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“Having always lived in fear of being surprised by the worst, I have tried in every circumstance to get a head start, flinging myself into misfortune long before it occurred.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“Sometimes I wish I were a cannibal – less for the pleasure of eating someone than for the pleasure of vomiting him.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“The same feeling of not belonging, of futility, wherever I go: I pretend interest in what matters nothing to me, I bestir myself mechanically or out of charity, without ever being caught up, without ever being somewhere. What attracts me is elsewhere, and I don’t know where that elsewhere is.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“This very second has vanished forever, lost in the anonymous mass of the irrevocable. It will never return. I suffer from this, and I do not. Everything is unique—and insignificant.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“To get up in the morning, wash and then wait for some unforeseen variety of dread or depression.
I would give the whole universe and all of Shakespeare for a grain of ataraxy.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“What do you do from morning to night?

I endure myself.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“What I know at sixty, I knew as well at twenty. Forty years of a long, a superfluous, labor of verification.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born

“When people come to me saying they want to kill themselves, I tell them, “What’s your rush? You can kill yourself any time you like. So calm down. Suicide is a positive act.” And they do calm down.”

Emil Cioran
The Trouble with Being Born